TeachersFirst's Climate Change Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of resources about climate change is selected to help teachers and students learn about the short and long term impact of climate change. As students read and see images of climate change then, now, and in the future, they will gain a better understanding. Younger students may have more questions as you explore together. Use these resources with your students to find ways you all can make a difference. Use this opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to the editor or government officials), careers in science, and more. 

View all of our resources tagged climate change

 

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Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea is a three part dispatch from a reporting trip to Antartica. Complete with images, text, and video, this site tells the story of ...more
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Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea is a three part dispatch from a reporting trip to Antartica. Complete with images, text, and video, this site tells the story of scientists researching the collapse of vulnerable portions of the Antartic ice sheet. Scroll through the page to learn about the mission and research taking place.

tag(s): antarctica (30), climate (94), climate change (68), oceans (161)

In the Classroom

Include this interactive with any lessons on climate change, oceans, or weather. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here, and have students research other locations experiencing the effects of climate change.

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Climate Kids Time Machine - NASA

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4 to 12
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See how the earth is changing by going backward and forward in the Climate Kids Time Machine. Choose a topic to begin from sea ice, sea level, carbon emissions, or ...more
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See how the earth is changing by going backward and forward in the Climate Kids Time Machine. Choose a topic to begin from sea ice, sea level, carbon emissions, or average global temperature. Drag the slider on each timeline to view representations of change over the span of time.

tag(s): carbon (23), climate (94), climate change (68), earth (230), oceans (161), temperature (32)

In the Classroom

Share these timelines on your interactive whiteboard as an introduction to your unit on weather and climate change. Include a link to the site on your class webpage and classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students research causes for climate change, then make a multimedia presentation using Powtoon, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Climate Kids - NASA

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3 to 6
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Learn about climate change through games, articles, and interactives at Climate Kids. Choose from different aspects of climate change including oceans or plants and animals, or use...more
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Learn about climate change through games, articles, and interactives at Climate Kids. Choose from different aspects of climate change including oceans or plants and animals, or use links at the top of the page to choose the type of activity. In addition to student activities, this site features information and ideas for teaching about climate change.

tag(s): air (143), animals (308), carbon (23), climate (94), climate change (68), energy (207), oceans (161), plants (166), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Include Climate Kids with any unit on weather, oceans, or climate change. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard to feature specific games and activities for your students. The entire site may be overwhelming for younger students; instead of creating a link to the main site, create separate links to games and activities on classroom computers and on your class website. Upon completion of your unit, have students create a simple infographic sharing information about climate change using Piktochart, reviewed here. Have students take pictures of your local environment, then create an annotated image sharing potential effects of climate change, including text boxes and related links, using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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GeoInquiries - ESRI

Grades
4 to 12
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GeoInquiries offers standards-based collections for teaching map-based concepts. Choose from several different content topics such as Earth Science, US History, and more. Locate the...more
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GeoInquiries offers standards-based collections for teaching map-based concepts. Choose from several different content topics such as Earth Science, US History, and more. Locate the complete list of available collections on the left side of the homepage. After choosing a broad topic, select a specific activity, then click to open the PDF for easy access to content. In addition to the GeoInquiries, this site also includes several additional lengthier activities including all necessary teacher and student materials.

tag(s): agriculture (59), american revolution (86), civil war (143), climate change (68), cold war (30), demographics (19), earthquakes (47), landforms (48), maps (294), minerals (16), oceans (161), population (64), rocks (50), volcanoes (64), weather (197), world war 1 (56)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons offered on GeoInquiries for use in your classroom. Divide students into groups to participate in different activities or use as enrichment for gifted students to complete independently. When finished with your inquiries, challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned.
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It's Okay To Be Smart YouTube Channel - Joe Hanson

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6 to 12
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This YouTube Channel contains videos based on the PBS Series of the same name. You can also view the It's Okay To Be Smart blog reviewed here. New...more
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This YouTube Channel contains videos based on the PBS Series of the same name. You can also view the It's Okay To Be Smart blog reviewed here. New videos are uploaded weekly with titles such as "Why Seasons Make No Sense" and "How Big is the Solar System?" Most videos are under 10 minutes in length making them perfect for quick but meaningful lessons. Be sure to check out playlists with videos sorted by topics including physics, earth, and more. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (308), climate change (68), earth (230), endangered species (40), energy (207), evolution (99), food chains (23), human body (132), space (221), video (278)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. They can do this with pen and paper or online. If you want the assignment online, explain to students they need to open a new tab in their browser window and take notes with a tool such as Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Or you could use a tool like EdPuzzle, reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as View Pure, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the View Pure page directly on the desktop. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept.

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Ice and Sky - Association Wild-Touch and Luc Jacquet

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8 to 12
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Learn about the history of climate change through the scientific explorations of Claude Lorius. View the entire interactive as a slide show or use the menu to explore specific content...more
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Learn about the history of climate change through the scientific explorations of Claude Lorius. View the entire interactive as a slide show or use the menu to explore specific content such as Exploring Ancient Climates or Man Disrupts the Giants of Nature. The tutorial explains how to display and download related documents from the site. Add any screen to create a personalized lesson, or download and display documents from the Ice and Sky educational program. Downloads include videos and educational booklets. The site seems to work well on Chrome, and not as well on Safari.

tag(s): antarctica (30), climate change (68), slides (65), video (278), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation on climate change using UTellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to use), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a map (choose locations, add text, images, and videos to demonstrate the effect of climate change) using Tour Builder, reviewed here. Have students use Bio Cube, reviewed here, to create a biography about Claude Lorius.

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Changing Planet - NBC Universal Media, LLC

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4 to 12
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Examine the effect of climate change on our planet through video on Changing Planet. NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation collaborated to create this collection. Topics range...more
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Examine the effect of climate change on our planet through video on Changing Planet. NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation collaborated to create this collection. Topics range from Thawing Permafrost, Melting Mountain Glaciers, Withering Crops, and more! Each video has a "cue card" with a summary and key terms. The videos are approximately five to ten minutes in length, and every video has a tab with a transcript that opens full-screen from the card view. Middle level and high school STEM lessons accompany most of the videos. The larger NBC Learn site is a fee-based subscription, but this section is free.
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tag(s): arctic (46), climate change (68), diseases (74), glaciers (17), mountains (16), oceans (161), scientific method (66), statistics (126), STEM (168), temperature (32), trees (29), tundra (16), water (130)

In the Classroom

Place the URL to Changing Planet on your classroom website or blog for students to explore the videos on their own. Flip your instruction and assign the videos to your scientists to watch before class. Flipping will maximize classroom time. Encourage budding scientists to investigate climate change. Use this site as a springboard for individual or group projects that connect to our world today. Have students create presentations to share what they learned using a tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here. Build student's background knowledge by watching the videos, and reviewing nonfiction reading strategies with students before reading the transcripts. Use the videos on Changing Planet to help struggling readers with the content on the cue cards. Encourage your scientists to tackle the topic of climate for a science fair experiment or graduation project.
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Interactives & Simulations: Weather, Climate & Atmosphere Education - UCAR Center for Science Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual...more
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual balloon to examining layers of the earth's atmosphere, or "building" a tree using different climate options. Each activity includes a full explanation and many include additional links or extension activities.

tag(s): arctic (46), atmosphere (31), carbon dioxide (15), climate (94), climate change (68), hurricanes (39), solar energy (39), sun (70), trees (29)

In the Classroom

Introduce Interactives & Simulations on an interactive whiteboard or projector then allow students to explore on their own. Be sure to provide a link on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate information learned from this site. Alternatively students could create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (94), climate change (68)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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The Carbon Cycle Game - Windows2Universe

Grades
7 to 12
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom....more
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom. Read the information about how the carbon atom gets there and its various interactions through nature. Be sure to click on For Teachers to find outcomes, standards, background information, best practices for using the interactive, and extension activities.
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tag(s): carbon (23), carbon dioxide (15), carbon footprint (11), climate (94), climate change (68), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Follow the terrific directions in the For Teachers section including items students should record as they work through the interactive. Review the assessment and extension activities for outstanding ideas. Encourage students to create a paragraph of the journey of their carbon atom or a concept map outlining the stops and science behind the journey. Find many excellent concept mapping tools here. Research climate change and ways to reduce the amount of carbon at specific steps. Research and present to the class various energy alternatives and ways to reduce carbon released into the atmosphere. Identify the carbon footprint of different countries and identify ways to reduce this footprint. Create a public service announcement to raise awareness of small changes everyone can do.
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ABC Splash - ABC TV and Radio Australia

Grades
K to 10
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources,...more
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources, and education news. Choose from primary or secondary level to view offerings sorted into categories or go to games and sort by topic or grade level to find resources. Register on the site to store and save favorite activities for later use. The site was created in the Australia, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): addition (223), animals (308), antarctica (30), atmosphere (31), australia (35), cells (104), climate change (68), continents (49), counting (109), decimals (124), division (159), earth (230), earthquakes (47), ecosystems (88), egypt (70), energy (207), environment (322), food chains (23), forces (43), forensics (27), fossil fuels (18), game based learning (128), gold rush (19), human body (132), immigration (59), insects (72), light (48), maps (294), molecules (45), money (180), multiplication (210), nuclear energy (25), nutrition (155), oceans (161), parts of speech (66), percent (81), perimeter (31), place value (52), plants (166), probability (137), rhymes (32), rocks (50), songs (53), sound (103), subtraction (184), time (139), vietnam (36), volcanoes (64), weather (197), whole numbers (16), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter for help with homework and school projects. These high-quality media resources will engage your students and enhance their learning.
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Climate Time Machine - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CIT

Grades
4 to 12
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Is there a climate change? What conditions on the Earth have changed over time? Find answers to these questions and more with this free tool. Choose from the following in ...more
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Is there a climate change? What conditions on the Earth have changed over time? Find answers to these questions and more with this free tool. Choose from the following in the menu bar: Sea Ice, Sea Level, Carbon Emissions, and Average Global Temperature. Drag the slider to show the differences in each of the four areas from 1884 to 2013. Read an explanation of consequences of these changes below the slider.

tag(s): antarctica (30), arctic (46), carbon dioxide (15), carbon footprint (11), climate (94), climate change (68), temperature (32)

In the Classroom

Want to get students attention? Begin with the Average Global Temperature on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Start the slider slowly at 1884 and be sure to pause and back up when global temperatures become cooler. However, be sure to point out to students that even though temperatures cycle a bit through time, as you progress to present day, much warmer temperatures persist. Follow this demonstration. How does this visualization compare to Carbon Emissions? Spend time in class looking at the Sea Level changes and list the areas that will be affected the most because of sea level rise. Create reports or posters about the various facts about those areas (populations, points of interest, culture, and history) to understand what will be lost. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Create a campaign for halting climate change beginning with simple actions that EVERYONE can make. Take time to determine each student's carbon footprint and changes that matter.
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Planet Nutshell - Joshua Gunn

Grades
4 to 12
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Planet Nutshell offers short, comic videos hosted on Vimeo explaining diverse topics such as Internet safety, financial aid, and climate change. Many videos include a suitable grade...more
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Planet Nutshell offers short, comic videos hosted on Vimeo explaining diverse topics such as Internet safety, financial aid, and climate change. Many videos include a suitable grade range with the title and run three minutes or less in length. Share videos using the share link provided with the direct URL to the Vimeo site or embed code. Save videos for later viewing on your Vimeo account.

tag(s): climate change (68), financial aid (16), internet safety (111)

In the Classroom

Include videos during your Internet safety or climate change unit and view on your interactive whiteboard. Embed on your class website or blog and have students create animated movies online using Dvolver - Movie Maker, reviewed here,. Consider sharing one of the short Internet safety videos with parents during an Open House or Meet the Teacher night.
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Big Facts on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security - Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security, CGIAR

Grades
6 to 12
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With so much talk about climate change, which information is correct and important? Use "Big Facts" for a new way to visualize facts about climate change, agriculture, and food security....more
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With so much talk about climate change, which information is correct and important? Use "Big Facts" for a new way to visualize facts about climate change, agriculture, and food security. More importantly, the reliable information offered through this research-based program counters many of the misrepresented and incorrect offerings in the news and other sources. Search for relevant facts and infographics by region or specific issue. All facts, figures, and material are cited with the original source. Site content has been peer reviewed.

tag(s): climate (94), climate change (68), disasters (39), environment (322), food chains (23), population (64)

In the Classroom

As climate change's effect is being seen on every region of the Earth, this site is a great resource for finding accurate information and figures. Share this site in conjunction with your science curriculum as well as in government, current events, and geography classes. Click on one of the specific regions of the Earth or choose from the various topics in the icons along the bottom. Divide the World's seven regions among student groups in class. View the various impacts including undernourishment, population, dietary change, food waste, climate impact on crops, disasters, mitigation, and adaptation. Have groups present their regions to the class. View the comparisons by region by choosing one of the various impacts. Click the Climate Impact on People icon and view the infographic information as a class using a whiteboard or projector. Use the information presented to view the source material and understand the science behind the numbers. Use these facts as a springboard to further discussions about climate change impacts. Talk about what governments can do both proactively and in response to the changes. Besides the really large ways to cut carbon emissions, what are the little things others can do to make a difference? Begin a grassroots campaign to make small changes. The many infographics on this site provide valuable experience reading and understanding graphic presentation of information as required by Common Core.

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Ecoplexity - Portland State University

Grades
9 to 12
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Use Ecoplexity to learn the complexity of ecosystems, feedback loops in ecosystems, and how to design and carry out an inquiry project. What is the best way to learn? Through ...more
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Use Ecoplexity to learn the complexity of ecosystems, feedback loops in ecosystems, and how to design and carry out an inquiry project. What is the best way to learn? Through Inquiry! View research from various locations: Chihuahuan Desert, Shortgrass Steppe, Temperate Forest, Tropical Forest, or Urban Desert. Explore how complex ecosystems function and the consequences of human behavior. Be sure to look at the list of resources and follow through the Scientific Inquiry tab to look at the steps for inquiry research.

tag(s): biodiversity (35), climate change (68), data (158), ecosystems (88), inquiry (35)

In the Classroom

Even though this site is an introduction into an inquiry program, there are many great resources to use. Find useful data sets to share with students to identify how researchers collect and analyze data. Use these data sets as inspiration for the kinds of data students can collect in your local ecosystem. Use this site to explain ecological complexity, climate change, and many other problems that affect ecosystems. This site could be the inspiration for science fair projects or an Earth Day activity for a school environmental science club.
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If All The Ice Melted - National Geographic

Grades
4 to 12
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea...more
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea level drastically, changing the coastline of every continent. Toggle the city names to get a really good idea of the land that will be lost. Choose the various continents to compare the loss of land.
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tag(s): climate change (68), continents (49)

In the Classroom

Compare different continents and brainstorm why some continents lose more land than others. Predict the areas that will be the hardest hit socially, politically, and economically. Research the population of these coastal areas to fully realize the enormity of the problem. Discuss the time frame needed to see these changes and begin looking for information that shows land loss is already occurring. (Note: There is research of land loss and reclamation efforts in Scandinavia and in Virginia.) How will this alter ecosystems and how humans depend upon the living things around them? Challenge cooperative learning groups to create simple infographic sharing their findings or predictions using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Climate Change: Lines of Evidence - Division on Earth And Life Studies, National Academies

Grades
5 to 12
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Find seven videos about climate change and the evidence scientists have about recent climate change and its causes. The scientific community, on the whole, has accepted the main body...more
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Find seven videos about climate change and the evidence scientists have about recent climate change and its causes. The scientific community, on the whole, has accepted the main body of evidence about climate change and the causes. If unsure what the controversy is all about, or possibly to validate your own opinion, become more knowledgeable about climate change and causes by watching these videos. Offered in seven segments, this content replicates a longer video by the same name, making for easier viewing and understanding. Develop an informed opinion about this highly controversial issue. These videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, you could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): atmosphere (31), climate change (68), earth (230)

In the Classroom

Watch the series of videos as a class or assign them for homework, in a flipped classroom strategy. If using the flipped classroom strategy, use a program like Grockit Answers, reviewed here, where you can embed questions at certain points in the video. Another idea that would put you at the top of the scale as a Common Core prepared teacher would be to use a program like Research Assistant, reviewed here, to help you find articles about climate change, greenhouse emissions, carbon emissions, etc. from many different sources. Then embed the article and video in a program like Actively Learn, reviewed here, or Cirrculet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Timelapse - Time Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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Timelapse, from Time magazine and powered by Google, is an amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed from 1984 through 2012. View incredible animations compiled ...more
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Timelapse, from Time magazine and powered by Google, is an amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed from 1984 through 2012. View incredible animations compiled from millions of satellite images. View the growth of Las Vegas, the shrinking of the Columbia Glacier, or point to any where in the world you desire. Simply type in any world location to view the change over this period of time. Zoom in and out using the tool bar provided to view the bigger (or smaller) picture. Warning: this site includes public comments that may not be appropriate in the classroom. Use the visual portion of the site and avoid the comments with students.

tag(s): climate change (68), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Display the visual portions on your interactive whiteboard. Have students discuss the changes they see. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings from two years using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast differences then and now. Explore and discuss the effects of climate changes and urban expansion using images on Timelapse.

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Spark Science Education - The National Center for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 12
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At Spark find games, activities, and lessons built around the theme of our atmosphere including weather, climate, and sun and space. Visit the Learning Zone to view video...more
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At Spark find games, activities, and lessons built around the theme of our atmosphere including weather, climate, and sun and space. Visit the Learning Zone to view video and images identifying changes in the atmosphere and greenhouse effect on the earth. Try interactives such as the solar eclipse memory game. Explore the climate sensitivity calculator. Be sure to check out the teachers' section of Spark to find several classroom activities divided into the topics of weather, climate change, and atmosphere and chemistry activities.

tag(s): atmosphere (31), climate (94), climate change (68), glaciers (17), hurricanes (39), snow (21), solar energy (39), sun (70), tornadoes (16), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Spark is a must-bookmark site for any teacher of atmospheric science. Create links to activities on student computers for students to explore and play. Search and use the activities for hands-on lesson ideas, all aligned to National Science Education Standards. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) to demonstrate information learned at Spark. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Surging Seas: Sea Level Rise Analysis - Cimate Central

Grades
6 to 12
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What is the impact of changes in sea levels? Use this interactive tool to show various effects with different feet of sea level rise. There is plenty of data showing ...more
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What is the impact of changes in sea levels? Use this interactive tool to show various effects with different feet of sea level rise. There is plenty of data showing that sea levels have already risen eight inches since 1880. Most people are unaware of the areas of the world that are at risk, though hurricanes may make us temporarily aware. This interactive map gives incredible detail by zooming into neighborhoods and understanding the possible changes that can occur with sea level change. Enter a city, zip code, or click on the US map to begin. Use the slider to change the sea level from 1 to 10 feet. Choose various other data such as social vulnerability, population, income, and property values. The application is based upon two independently written, easily accessible, peer-reviewed papers. Note: An older and still active version of the site can be found here.

tag(s): climate (94), climate change (68), earth (230), earth day (110), environment (322)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to discuss how climate change is affecting sea level, as well as other weather events that have been in the news. Be sure to talk about energy and how it is produced and why all combustion reactions produce carbon dioxide. Research the composition of the atmosphere and why changes in certain gases can cause such a problem. Be sure to have students check out the validity of different sources and sites for accuracy and statistics and data that backs up the viewpoint. Rather than scare students, discuss ways that everyone in the world can create a greener Earth for tomorrow. Challenge students to research and then create multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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